The 4 Types of Math You’ll face on the SAT

If you’re getting prepared to take the SAT, chances are, you might be a little nervous about the math section. Will I have to do calculus? Will I need a protractor? Will I have to use pi???

Half the battle for the SAT exam is to know what to expect. In this article, we will go over the general structure of the math portion, the types of math covered on the SAT, and what you can skip studying.


What does the math portion look like?

But wait one second! What’s a grid-in question?
For multiple choice questions, you have to first work out the problem and then choose an answer that’s in your options. But with grid-ins, you work out the problem then write your answer in boxes, and fill in the corresponding bubbles.

What types of math are on the exam?
So the math section has FOUR different types of questions. Let’s list them here in order of which types of questions are asked the most.

1) Algebra and Functions  ( 35-40% of total questions )
Example categories:
Substitution and simplifying algebraic expressions
Properties of exponents
Algebraic word problems
Solutions of linear equations and inequalities

2) Geometry and Measurement ( 25-30% of total questions )
Example categories:
Area and perimeter of a polygon
Area and circumference of a circle
Volume of a box, cube, and cylinder
Pythagorean theorem and special properties of isosceles, equilateral, and right triangles

3) Numbers and Operations (20-25% of total questions)
Example categories:
Arithmetic word problems
Properties of integers
Rational numbers

4) Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability (10-15% of total questions )
Example categories:
Data interpretation
Descriptive statistics

Now you probably might be wondering, Is there anything I DON’T need to study ?Fortunately, you’re in luck! The answer is Yes.

Here is a quick breakdown of things you don’t need to know for the math part of the SAT:

  • Imaginary numbers  (anything with the letter i)
  • Logarithms
  • Trigonometry
  • Matrices
  • Long, drawn out problems (Everything can be done easily by hand!)
  • Geometry proofs
  • No radians (Only degrees!)
  • Standard deviations

Well, there you have it. Now you have a better idea on what to expect from the SAT Math exam! Let us know in the comments if this gave you a better idea on how to prepare yourself!